Sidor som bilder


111. TIIE GAMESTER. shall we, with the means to crush him, fly from our hunter, or turn and tear him? 'Tis folly even to hesitate.

Bat. He has oblig'd me, and I dare not.

Stu. Why, live to shame then, to beggary and punishment. You would be privy to the deed, yet want the soul to act it. Nay more; had my designs been leveli'd at his fortune, you had stept in the foremost.- And what is life without its comforts? Those you would rob him of; and, by a livgering death, add cruelty to murder. Henceforth adieu to half-made villains—there's danger in them. What you have got is your's; keep it, and hide with it— I'll deal my future bounty to those that merit it.

Bat. What's the reward ?

Stu. Equal division of our gains. I swear it, and will be just.

Bat. Think of the means then.

Stu. Ile's gone to Beverley's—wait for him in the street-'Tis a dark night, and fit for mischief. A dagger would be useful.

Bat. He sleeps no more.

Stu. Consider the reward! when the deed's done, I. have farther business with you. Send Dawson to me. But. Think it already done-and so farewel. (Exit.

Stu. Why, farewel, Lewson, then; and farewel to my fears—this night secures me. I'll wait the event within.

: [Exit. SCENE III. 4 Street. The stage is darkened.

Enter BeverLEY. Beo. How like an outcast do I wander! loaded with every curse, that drives the soul to desperation. The midnight robber, as he walks his rounds, sees by the glimmering lamp my frantic looks, and dreads to meet me.- Whither am I going? My home lies there; all that is dear on earth it holds too; yet are the gates of death more welcome to me I'll enter it no moreWho passes there? 'Tis Lewson-He meets me in a gloomy hour; and memory tells me he has been meddling with my fame.

Enter LEW SON. Lew. Beverley! well met. I have been busy in your affairs.

Bev. So I have heard, sir; and now must thank you as I ought.

Lew. To-morrow I may deserve your thanks. Late as it is, I go to Bates. Discoveries are making that an arch villain trembles at.

Bev. Discoveries are made, sir, that you shall tremble at. Where is this boasted spirit? this high demeanour, that was to call me to account? You say I have wrong'd my sister- Now say as much. But first be ready for defence, as I am for resentment.

[Draws. Lew. What mean you? I understand you not.

Bev. The coward's stale acquittance-who, when he spreads foul calumny abroad, and dreads just vengeance on him, cries out, What mean you? I understand you


Lew. Coward and calumny! Whence are those words? But I forgive, and pity you.

Bev. Your pity had been kinder to my fame. . But you have traduc'd it; told a vile story to the public ear, that I have wrong'd my sister.

Lew. 'Tis false. Shew me the man that dares accuse me.

Bev. I thought you brave, and of a soul superior to low malice; but I have found you. This is no place for argument.

Lew. Nor shall it be for violence. Imprudent man! who in revenge for fancied injuries, swould pierce the heart that loves him. But honest friendship acts from itself, unmov'd by slander or ingratitude. The life you thirst for, shall be employ'd to serve you.

6 Bev. 'Tis thus you would compound then-First do 6 a wrong, then, to redress it, load me with kindness 6 unsolicited. I'll not receive it. Your zeal is trouble. o some.

Lew. No matter. It shall be useful. 6 Bev. It will not be accepted. « Lew. It must.' You know me not.

Bev. Yes; for the slanderer of my fame; who, under shew of friendship, arraigns me of injustice; buzzing in every ear foul breach of trust, and family dishonour.

Lew. Hare I done this? Who told you so ?

Bev. The world—"Tis talk'd of every where. It pleas'd you to add threats, too. You were to call me to account Why, do it now then: I shall be proud of such an arbiter.

Lew. Put up your sword, and know me better. I never injur'd you. The base suggestion comes from Stukely; I see him and his aims.

Bev. What aims? I'll not conceal it-'twas Stukely that accus'd you.

Lew. To rid him of an enemy- Perhaps of two - He fears discovery, and frames a tale of falsehood to ground revenge and murder on.

Bev. I must have proof of this.
Lew. Wait till to-morrow then.
Bev. I will.

Lew. Good night I go to serve you- Forget what's past, as I do; and cheer your family with smiles. To-morrow may confirm them, and make all happy.

[Exit. Bev. [Pausing.] How vile and how absurd is man! His boasted honour is but another name for pride; which easier bears the consciousness of guilt, than the world's just reproofs. * But 'tis the fashion of the times; and in defence of falsehood and false honour, men die martyrs. I knew not so bad things were in me. [Stands musing,

- Enter BATES and JARVIS. Jar. This way the noise was-and yonder's my poor master.

** I have in another work (" LETTERS TO DR. AIKIN ON 119 VOLUME OF VOCAL POETRY,” &c.) endeavoured to point out, by an extract from A DISSERTATION ON DUELLING ; &c. by RICHARD HEY, LL. D. the true idea of Honour. But, as that work may rot be in the bands of very many of the readers of these volumes, I shall repeat it here. There is an Honour, which is “ an auxiliary Principle, engaged along with other Powers, in the cause of Virtue." Part vi, Sect. ii. In the first section of this part, the He afterwards says “ Attention to such points in particular cases, " by frequent repetition, produces an habitual Priociple, a Sensibility, “ which becomes a new Faculty in the mind. And such seems to be " the origin of a sense of Honour.” These two sections are well worth the perusal of every reader; and the opinions laid down in them make me lament that any thing should be said to the disparagement of Honour as a general Principle.

Bat. I heard him at high words with Lewson. The cause I know not.

Jar. I heard him too. Misfortunes vex him.

But. Go to him, and lead him home-But he comes this way-I'll not be seen by him. [Exit Bates.

Bev. [Starting:] What fellow's that? [Seeing Jar.] Art thou a murderer, friend? come, lead the way; I have a hand as mischievous as thine; a heart as desperate too-Jarvis!-To bed, old man; the cold will chill thee.

Jur. Why are you wandering at this late hour?-Your sword drawn too!--Pray sheath it, sir—the sight distracts me. Bev. Whose voice was that?

[Wildly. Jar. 'Twas mine, sir. Let me entreat you to give the sword to me. · Bev. Ay, take it--quickly take it-Perhaps I am not so lost, but Heaven may have sent thee at this moment to snatch me from perdition.

Jar. Then I am bless’d.

author observes, that “ Honour had been distinguished, * (and, as " it seems, with good reason,) into a Motive or Principle of action, " and an End or Reward.”_" A nice sense of Honour is sometimes “ mentioned as synonimous to a refined sense of Virtue: and men are “ represented as performing noble and worthy actions from this sense “ of Honour, where the eye of the World cannot observe them, and " where not even a single Friend can be admitted as a spectator. “ This is a noble Principle; but it is to be distinguished froin a sense “ of Virtue, and may be traced up to the Fountain of Opinion or • Reputation.

" A nice sense of Virtue is that hy which we make ready and accurate • distinctions between what is virtuous and what is vicious: but this “6 is not to be confounded with the Motive which impels us to pursue the “ Virtue or avoid the Vice. This Motive is in one person the Hope " of Reward or Fear of Punishment in this life ; in another, it is like “ the Hope or Fear respectiog a future life; in a third, it is Be. “ nevolence joined to a persuasion that what he does will contribute “ to the good of mankind; and, (not to attempt a complete eoume"" ration,) in a fourth it is a regard to his Character in ihe World.”

* Adventurer, No. 6).

Bev. Continue so, and leave me; my sorrows are contagious. No one is blest that's near me.

Jar. I came to seek you, sir.

Beo. And now thou hast found me, leave me--My thoughts are wild, and will not be disturb'd.

Jur. Such thoughts are best disturb’d.

Bev. I tell thee that they will not-Who sent thee hither?

Jar. My weeping mistress. · Bev. Am I so meek a husband, then, that a com. manding wife prescribes my hours, and sends to chide me for my absence:- Tell her I'll not return.

Jar. Those words would kill her.

Bev. Kill her! Would they not be kind then? But she shall live to be a curse upon me,I have deserv'd it of her. Does she not hate me, Jarvis?

Jar. Alas, sir! forget your griefs, and let me lead you to her. The streets are dangerous.

Bev. Be wise, and leave me then. The night's black horrors are suited to my thoughts—These stones shall be my resting-place [lies down.] Here shall my soul brood o'er its miseries; till with the cowardice of guilt, I start and tremble at the morning's light.

Jar. For pity's sake, sir!-Upon my knees I beg you to quit this place, and these sad thoughts. Let patience, not despair, possess you- Rise, I beseech youThere's not a moment of your absence, that my poor mistress does not groan for.

Bev. Have I undone her, and is she still so kind? [Starting up.] It is too much- My brain can't hold it - Jarvis! Jarvis ! how desperate is that wretch's state, which only death or madness can relieve!

Jur. Appease his mind, good Ileaven! and give him resignation! Alas, sir, could beings in the other world perceive the events of this, how would your parents' blessed spirits grieve for you, even in Ileaven!--Let me conjure you by their honour'd memories, by the sweet innocence of your yet helpless child, and by the ceaseless sorrows of my poor mistress, to rouse your manhood, and struggle with these griefs.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »